Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Joseph, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Nelly Gang

   The Adventures of Nelly Nolan: The Nelly Gang by Stephen Axelsen,   ISBN 9781921977916, Walker Books Australia

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Reviewed by Joseph, 9, WA

The Nelly Gang (cover)

This book is a graphic novel — it’s a bit like a comic book with lots of picture frames but it tells one long story through the whole book.

Nelly’s gang are Nelly and her friends Miro, Jin, plus Nelly’s goat. Nelly lives in Christmastown in Victoria in 1860 with her Pa who is looking for gold. When he finds gold (lots of gold!) they decide to go back to Sydney to find Nelly’s Ma. But someone knows about their gold and bushrangers are everywhere — like Captain Sunbeam and also Captain Moonshine. (The title of the book made me think of Ned Kelly, but Ned Kelly is not in this book.) The Nelly Gang have to fight the bushrangers.

The pictures in The Nelly Gang have interesting things to look at in the backgrounds. In a normal book you would have lots of description in words but the comic-style pictures do that in a graphic novel. I like the message tree — the posters on it made me laugh. Nelly’s goat (Queen Victoria) also makes me laugh. That’s my favourite character. And I liked funny lines like ‘as rich as pigs in a parsnip patch’ which is what Pa says to Nelly when they are weighing his gold.

Boys and girls age 8+ would thoroughly enjoy this. You learn a bit of history like what clothes are like in 1860, what school was like (the kids used slates instead of books and pencils), what money they used, how people lived in the goldfields, how they weighed gold and what their transport was like (horses and carriages).

When I got to the end I wondered what will happen to Nelly next so I would like to read a sequel. I would rate this book 9.5 out of 10.

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Joseph, Book reviews by kids

Book Review: Maximum Maxx!

Maxx Rumble Cricket: Maximum Maxx! by Michael Wagner, ill. Terry Denton, ISBN 9781922077806, Black Dog Books

Reviewed by Joseph, 9, WA*

Maximum Maxx! (cover)

This is about Maxx’s cricket days—it’s all 8 of the cricket books in one book. Maxx has to captain the team to victory against some teams that cheat.

My favourite book in the collection is Tricked. It’s a lot different from the other stories. (Maxx and Rexx find a way to stop The Outhouse Rodents team from cheating at all.)

The illustrations definitely go well with the stories. They make me laugh and I already like Terry Denton’s illustrations from The 13-Storey Treehouse so I knew I would like them here, too.

I think 5 to 9 year olds would like this book because they sometimes have quite big words but in short chapters.

"Undercover Readers Club logo"* Joseph is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. (Download information about the club on the magazine’s website.) A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.